~~~~~Lesson: Genesis, Chapter 42 (reading below lesson)
First, note how Joseph tests his brothers with his request. These are the same brothers who believe that they are guilty of fratricide.
Question: Does God test us? If so, how? If not, why not?
Second, even Jacob, a great man of faith, cries out to God, "Why must such things always happen to me!"
He has been blessed with a wife he loved, another wife, and TWELVE children...yes, losing a child no matter the circumstances is horrible, but he has practically seen God, and certainly had God's assurances about the future of his descendants.
Question: Are they times when we cry out, "Why me?!"
Why is it hard to remember that God loves us even when we are suffering? How do you help yourself to remember that God is always there during those times?
~Reading: Genesis: Chapter 42- Joseph’s Brothers Travel to Egypt
(1-5) When Jacob learned that grain rations were available in Egypt, he said to his sons: "Why do you keep gaping at one another? I hear," he went on, "that rations of grain are available in Egypt. Go down there and buy some for us, that we may stay alive rather than die of hunger." So ten of Joseph's brothers went down to buy an emergency supply of grain from Egypt. It was only Joseph's full brother Benjamin that Jacob did not send with the rest, for he thought some disaster might befall him. Thus, since there was famine in the land of Canaan also, the sons of Israel were among those who came to procure rations.
(17-26) [Joseph accuses his brothers of being spies] With that, he locked them up in the guard-house for three days. On the third day Joseph said to them: "Do this, and you shall live; for I am a God-fearing man. If you have been honest, only one of your brothers need be confined in this prison, while the rest of you may go and take home provisions for your starving families. But you must come back to me with your youngest brother. Your words will thus be verified, and you will not die." To this they agreed.
To one another, however, they said: "Alas, we are being punished because of our brother. We saw the anguish of his heart when he pleaded with us, yet we paid no heed; this is why this anguish has now come upon us."
"Didn't I tell you," broke in Reuben, "not to do wrong to that boy? But you wouldn't listen! Now comes the reckoning for his blood." They did not know, of course, that Joseph understood what they said, since he spoke with them through an interpreter. But turning away from them, he wept. When he was able to speak to them again, he had Simeon taken from them and bound before their eyes. Then Joseph gave order to have their containers filled with grain, their money replaced in each one's sack and provisions given them for their journey. After this had been done for them, they loaded their donkeys with the rations and departed.
(29) When they got back to their father Jacob in the land of Canaan, they told him all that had happened to them.
(33-34) "Then the man who is lord of the country said to us: 'This is how I shall know if you are honest men: leave one of your brothers with me, while the rest of you go home with rations for your starving families. When you come back to me with your youngest brother, and I know that you are honest men and not spies, I will restore your brother to you, and you may move about freely in the land.'"
(36-38) Their father Jacob said to them: "Must you make me childless? Joseph is gone, and Simeon is gone, and now you would take away Benjamin! Why must such things always happen to me!"
Then Reuben told this father: "Put him in my care, and I will bring him back to you. You may kill my own two sons if I do not return him to you."
But Jacob replied: "My son shall not go down with you. Now that his full brother is dead, he is the only one left. If some disaster should befall him on the journey you must make, you would send my white head down to the nether world in grief."
Jennifer Becker Landsberger
Who am I? Freelance writer (magazines, websites, & copywriting), Catholic, military wife, and Mensan. Double Bachelor's in History & Psychology.
Witnessing by charity and love are above all. Studying the Bible and beyond helps me on this quest. Feel free to join my walk into the Bible.
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~~~Prayer before Writing-
Oh creator of the universe, who has set the stars in the heavens and causes the sun to rise and set, shed the light of your wisdom into the darkness of my mind. Fill my thoughts with a loving knowledge of you, that I may bring you like to others. Just as you can make even babies speak your truth, instruct my tongue and guide my pen to convey the wonderful glory of the Gospel. Make my intellect sharp, my memory clear, and my words eloquent, so that I may faithfully interpret the mysteries what you have revealed.
To my readers & fellow writers,
1. I will pray that God's grace helps illuminate all of our interactions- both those of simple reading and more active conversations.
2. I will communicate with you respectfully and civilly. These are (rightly) issues which we feel passionate about. But even in disagreements, I will respect you fellow "seekers of truth."
3. I will not fall into negative behavior or words, such as insinuations, exaggerations, blames, or personal attacks. I respectfully ask you to do the same.
4. I will pray we will all find the truth and strive to fulfill the two greatest commandments: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these." (Mark 12:30-31)
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Sites I Recommend
Biblical Evidence for Catholicism by Dave Armstrong